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Since June 1, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District has deputized a private security firm to help it more aggressively identify and penalize local H20 lawbreakers around the clock in order to finally meet its state-mandated goal of 36 percent reduction over a three-year period by next February.
The agency’s 122-square-mile territory covers an industry-oriented stretch of affluent Los Angeles County towns just inland of the Malibu coastline, from Calabasas and Hidden Hills up through Agoura Hills and Westlake Village — the den of Drake, the lair of Heather Locklear.
In its first month alone, the 24-7 water patrol inspections discovered 203 violations in the 65,000-person district. (LVMWD tallied only 455 violations in the nine months prior, when it relied solely on its own daytime field personnel.) The first instance yields a $100 fine, which rises to $500 for a fourth offense, and termination of service after the fifth transgression. (No homeowners have yet been cited to such an extent.)
Among the June culprits, according to documentation obtained by The Hollywood Reporter through a state Public Records Act request: Kylie Jenner, who lives in a $2.7 million, 5,000-square-foot Mediterranean mansion in Calabasas’ guard-gated Oaks enclave, as well as her hip-hop paramour Tyga (aka Michael Stevenson), who rents a $10.2 million, 12,000-square-foot Tuscan nouveau villa a few blocks away. (A concurrent investigation by NBC4, which first aired Wednesday, found additional violations incurred in the district at other times by David Hasselhoff, Dr. Dre and Denise Richards.)
Residents are allowed only 15-minute outdoor water use two days a week, with no runoff ending up in the street or on adjacent properties. Nearly 70 percent of the water utilized in the area, known for its manicured lawns and sprawling estates, is used outdoors. (By comparison, the average daily gallon usage in June in the more urban City of Santa Monica was less than half the per-person consumption level of that within the LVMWD’s territory.)
The agency declined THR’s repeated requests to observe its new public enforcement effort in action, explaining that its private vendor, Camarillo-based Dial Security — which was awarded its patrol contract in a process devoid of competitive bidders — refused to have its own inspection work monitored.
Public records separately revealed that LVMWD general manager David Pedersen wrote to several members of his board of directors with regard to THR’s interest in a Dial Security ride-along that he was particularly concerned about protecting those who live in “the gated communities in our District” from prying media eyes during the state’s ongoing drought crisis: It’s “not something we believe the District should facilitate.”
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